One of my earliest memories (I was a toddler) is of placing a yellow rose on a casket. People were weeping, tones were hushed. Every time someone dies, it’s one of the first images that cross my mind. And recently, there has been a lot of death.
Death is hard. It’s downright devastating, painful, and emotionally draining. It’s hard to let go. And yes, it’s a little bit scary (adrenaline pumping) to think of leaving this life since the number of our days is known only to our Creator. But meeting death, tearing through that veil that separates us from our Lord in all his glory and coming face to face with the deliverer of our souls will be the most intense and relief filled experience that the end of this part of life has to offer– because these shells that house our spirits, our souls are temporary. And because we believe, we hope, we trust in Jesus. Am I saddened at the death of those I love? Of course! Time has been removed from that relationship, and loss comes in waves, like a quiet, lapping lake blanketing my toes. I will miss them. But this has all come on the wings of an impending Easter, reminding me (Jesus’ timing is perfect) of the resurrection and an unbreakable life.
The gift of Christ has brought me to this: My hope lies in Christ; in the belief that Christ himself was there in every moment, just out of our physical sight; he took their hands, their hearts and souls and carried them– as we could not, reassuring them that the path ahead was ready to be traveled and the rest of us would be along in his time. I also believe that because of Christ, death cannot separate me from life…the way is not blocked. Now, death is only an open door that I must eventually pass through with my Savior. And I shall not despair, for He has overcome.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:8-9)
I encourage you to continue on in your Lenten readings, waiting with enthusiasm the moment the empty tomb is discovered* in John 20, and Christ gently speaks Mary’s name. (*As you have previously read in Matthew, Mark, and Luke)